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Brave New World
Aldous Huxley
We Can Remember It for You Wholesale
Philip K. Dick
Brian Wilson Aldiss
Hierarchy of Needs: A Theory of Human Motivation
Abraham Maslow

Ways of Escape

Ways of Escape - Graham Greene This is the second part of Graham Greene’s autobiography – the first was A Sort of Life. However, A Sort of Life was genuine autobiography where this was a story behind the stories book. It starts with his earliest novels and give some small bits of autobiographical information around them. It goes on through his career as a writer up until – what was then – the present day.I read this book for the first time about seven years ago – after having read most of Greene’s novels. This was my first re-reading of any of his books and it was a little harder to remember the names of the various characters from his novels – there are a few bits where he talks about how characters were developed. What I got out of it this time was Greene’s experience of a novelist looking back on his writing.Also covered in this book was Greene’s experience as a playwright. He talks about how he enjoyed being around the theatre and actors performing his plays. This he compared to the loneliness of a novelist or the detachment of film work. With a play he could go on making changes to the text based on the audiences reactions. After the end of each run he’d start a new play to try and recapture the experience. I don’t really rate Greene as a playwright. I have read most of his plays and I find them quiet dry and soulless. Perhaps it isn’t fair to judge them by how they read but there was nothing in them that would make me want to see them performed.This book wasn’t actually written as a whole – it was made up from introductions and other writings about his work. He must have given the work some editing because it does flow nicely. Even so it isn’t as interesting as A Sort of Life which was written as an autobiography and from which you get an idea of Green as a person. From this book you don’t really emphasise with him. Perhaps he masks his emotions too well. He talks about being suicidal but the effect on me, as I read it, was the same as if he’d been talking about waiting for a bus. There was one engaging section where from a visit to Israel during the 6 Day War (1967). I could picture the ditch he was lying in and feel the shells as they were passing overhead. I also sensed his fear that he would be hit by shrapnel. Still, it did remind me how much I like Greene’s work – I think I may have to re-read The Quiet American again soon.